Monday, June 28, 2010

Seasons

Niger has seasons and there are enjoyable things about each season.  

There is the "cold" season when night temperatures can drop into the low 50's.  This season runs from November through February and it's the season when you like to get things done because you actually have energy.  It is also the season of the harmattan....the dust that blows down from the Sahara Desert.  This picture shows the sun on a dusty day.

Then there is the hot season that runs from March into June.  This is the worst time of year, mainly because three to four months of temperatures over 100 degrees can really wear you out. 
The harmattan continues through these months.  And did I mention from November to May....no rain (we do occasionally get a rain in April or May)?  The forecast every day is:  Sunshine!  or Sunshine with a layer of dust.


Around May the humidity moves in and the heat really becomes unbearable.  But this is moving us into the next season:  the rainy season which lasts from May through September and into October if we're fortunate.  During the rainy season, if it's a good season, we get rain about once a week, sometimes more.  If it's a poor rainy season, there may be several weeks before rain.  You find yourself going outside frequently, searching the sky for signs of building clouds.  If we do that, think of the concern and worry in the hearts of Nigerien farmers as they search the sky.  Often before a rain storm we will get a huge dust storm
in which the sky turns from orange to black and the temperatures can drop 20 to 30 degrees in 30 minutes.


October, well, October kind of stands on its own.  It's very muggy, very hot, and the rains are pretty much over. 
But it's an important month because it's harvest time in Niger.


Here in the northeastern part of the US, the seasons are very distinct:  Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn.  My favorites in order are:  Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn.  


I love summer.  I love the warm weather (for me, it's seldom too hot here in the northeast).  I love the long days.  I love being to grill out and then eat outside.
I've been trying all sorts of different meats and marinades on the grill.  Yesterday I did ham which I served with potatoes and asparagus. 
I've also grilled chicken (wonderful!), hamburgers, hot-dogs, and fish.  The fish tasted good, but I had a hard time turning it as it had the tendency to fall apart.  Any pointers for me on grilling fish?  

I love being able to sit outside in the sun,
not that I have much time for that!  (Neither does Suzanne for that matter anymore since she's busy at camp!)  And I love being able to go for walks without putting on tons of extra clothes to do it.

And I love the way that people just slow down a bit more in the summer and take time to enjoy things and each other more.


Do you know why autumn is my least favorite season?  It's because it means summer is over!


What's your favorite season and why?

2 comments:

Dusty Penguin said...

Cook your fish wrapped in foil with a pat of butter and your seasonings.

I miss having my grill here!

My favorite season is spring, I think, because of all the flowers, and the end of the long northern winter.

Elizabeth said...

You can also get a wire basket thingy to grill fish. You put the fish in, the top fits tightly over it, and then there is a handle you use to just flip the whole contraption.

As for seasons, of course I love summer the most since I grew up in a hot climate! But there are things I like about the other three seasons as well. The warm weather and new plants in the spring, the colors in the fall, and crisp cold winter nights with sparkling snow covering the ground.